Map Reading 101

Last month a friend and I took in a beautiful, horrific, brilliant, disturbing exhibit based on one of my favourite works of art, James Whistler’s Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC.

1510 Peacock
Whistler Peacock Room

Amoung all the other thoughts provoked was one about how we react when the road we’ve taken doesn’t lead us to our expected destination.

We don’t start out to create things that get spoilt or aren’t appreciated or lead nowhere – or, worse, to big problems.  We’ve got a much more positive vision at the start of anything we put in motion.

(And if we don’t, then what the hell are we doing?)

We can get carried away by our projects, whether it’s creating a work of art, getting a pay raise or promotion, finding a new way to addresse social justice inadequacies, answering health challenges . . . .  Some are about life changes, others are less far-ranging in time and impact.   We forget that any project, no matter how important, is only a single aspect of our life.

1510 Peacock Remix
Waterston Filthy Lucre

So how do we respond to road blocks?  Changes in parameters?  Shifting reality?  Do we destroy our greatest achievements with our own rigidity?

What are the elements of your life that could use a brush up this month?  Where have you moved from the beauty of the Peacock Room to the degradation and decay of Waterston’s Remix?

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